Tarpon Preparation Checklist

This entry is a bolt on to the episode 43-Tarpon Preparation podcast I released.  If you haven't heard it or aren't listening to it now, then I recommend doing so.  Link to that episode here.  For everyone else this is a written and picture entry to give a little more detail to the podcast.  A note here, I am far from a professional, but am happy to share my journey as an amateur with all of you.  Including my blunders, as you will see.  

So below is a quick checklist of most of the items I discussed on the podcast.  Of course the list for a tarpon excursion is vast and also changes depending on area fishing, time of year, etc.  This is a brief view of some high points that I have been focusing my efforts on mostly.  

#1 Flies, Flies, Flies.  This is always one of the most fun aspects for me, because I love to tie!  I especially love to ties saltwater flies.  Giant hooks with all the fun materials.  The examples I brought up in the podcast were a cockroach and toad/bunny variation that I am super excited about.  Here are some pics of those flies.  

#2 Leader - My goodness.  There are as many opinions on tarpon leader as there are men who have ever caught a tarpon.  It is absolutely mind boggling.  Especially if you include the knot discussion.  I thought I would only include a few pictures of the knots and knot failures here that I referenced in the podcast.  

#3 Fly Line - For Tarpon I always bring an intermediate line and a floating.  This trip I luckily have a spare Hatch spool, but in the past I would use a line winder like in the picture below.  

#4 - Pliers - I used to under estimate this aspect of the trip.  However, after being many of awesome saltwater guide use some top quality stuff, I needed a pair.  

#5 - Rod and Reel - I discuss these much more on the podcast but here is the set up.  Sure wish there was a spare rod in that picture.  

On that note ladies and gents, I have some more prep work to do.  Lots of casting and knot practice in my future.  



Guest Post: Family Tradition Podcast - by Joe Evans

Allow me to start with a confession: I am not a fly fisherman. At least not yet. I've whipped a few flies around. I've caught every article of clothing one could catch in a day, except my underwear, but don't count me out on that just yet. I've had the fortune to be invited on a few fishing trips with my brother Tim. He graciously provides me with flies that I waste no time in losing on snags and overhanging trees. And occasionally, he and a guide can find an old blind fish to swallow my fly.

Read More

Different Places to Fish on the North Platte near Casper, WY

As some of you may know, I have a special place in my heart for the North Platter River.  It is home to me.  I grew up a mile from the river and saw it every day on the way to school or work.  I have fished that river more than any other body of water in my life.  That being said, I should be better at catching fish there!  So, this note is a comparative glance at several sections of the river.  I will be leaving out huge sections of the river and will be far from exhaustive on the sections discussed, fair warning.  This will just be a few of my favorites, not in order of favorites, but as the river flows.

Read More

Fly Fishing Reel Review: NuCast Max Review

Let’s talk today about some of the most fun parts of being a fisherman… great gear.  I’m definitely one of those guys that just likes gear for the sake of gear.  You can’t have enough of it and you can definitely never have too much good quality gear.  Also, the mechanical side of my brain really enjoys playing with the masterpieces of modern machining, Fly Reels.  I think they are asked to do an extremely difficult job.  We ask them to be robust and durable, but extremely light weight.  We ask them to have features but be compact and easy to use.  We prefer them cheap but aren’t willing to sacrifice performance.  It sounds like a tough world out there for reel manufacturers.  This article is to praise one of them.  This is a review of NuCast Fly Fishing’s Max Fly Reel.  

Read More

Fly Fishing for Tarpon in Port O'Connor Texas

Let me first express my affection for the Port O'Connor (or POC for locals) fishery.  I reside a few hours north of this area.  It holds a special place in my heart.  I am a rocky mountain trout fishing guy originally.  I think my affection for this place is born out of the fact that it is really the first saltwater area that I was able to get to know well.  It was very intimidating at first, to come out to Matagorda Bay, or Espiritu Santo Bay.  It is very big water for a trout river fishing guy.  Regardless, I have spent a lot of time in the area and am rather fond of the area after overcoming my fears of the saltwater.  The POC area is rich with features most fly fisherman look for in a fishery.  It has a great assortment of areas to fish, such as natural passes, jetties, mud and grass flats, back lakes, and sandy coasts.   All this being said, I am getting away from the topic I planned to bring up, which is my trip report from my last fishing trip here with Kevin Townsend.  



Read More

A First Time Tarpon Fly Fisherman

 I have seen one tarpon, ever.  I have spent countless hours preparing for the opportunity to catch a tarpon.  I have been on tarpon trips.  I have starred down a lot of water, in hopes of finding a tarpon.  I have also traveled many miles to try to find my first tarpon.  So, why the hype on this fish versus the rest?  Why is there an anticipation level higher than any other fish?  What is it that drives me insane waiting and trying to get my opportunity

Read More

A Fly Fishing Podcast – Why I am a Fly Fisherman

I am a passionate guy.  I have always been good at finding hobbies and pouring myself into them with my time, focus, and energy.  One of my first passions was hunting.  It was first a family ordeal, bringing home food for the freezers.  Eventually, I learned that it can be an escape, a skill, and an adventure.  So, I devoted myself to hunting.  It became a love and a passion, and remains today.  After hunting other things were added to the passions: hiking, climbing, motorcycle racing, and more.  Some of them stuck and some were a season.  Then there was fishing.  Fly fishing grabbed hold of me a little later in life.  It was like another face of hunting for me at first.  It soon became a consuming passion that drives this journal, this website, and the fly fishing podcast I am creating.  

So, why was it fly fishing that drove me farther than all of these other passions?  I think the first reason for it was put into great words by my friend Vance Freed out of Victor Idaho.  He said, in more or less words, that fly fishing was a form of escapism to him.  When I reflected on all of my passions of my life the one thing I loved and remembered about all of them was that “real life” seemed to fade away when I did any of them.  I assume it is because fly fishing, or these other activities, required too much bandwidth to focus on other things.  I realized when I was fly fishing for trout, I wasn’t trying to work out problems at the office.  When I was out fly fishing for tarpon, I wasn’t thinking about mowing my lawn.  Focusing on dry flies on the South Fork of the Snake River doesn’t just distract me from everything else, it requires me to clear my mind and focus on the act of Fly Fishing.  

One of the early reasons fly fishing really took hold in my life was the idea of the hunt for a big fish.  As I mentioned, I was and still am a hunter.  I remember early in my life I would tell people I am a hunter and not a fisherman, because I was passionate about hunting, but did not feel the same for fly fishing, or any fishing for that matter.  However, I still remember the first time I hunted a fish, and the game was changed.  My meager knowledge of fly fishing exploded into a consuming need to tie flies, read fly fishing content, find fly fisherman, or consume any fly fishing information.  At the time, it was all in an effort to hunt the rainbow trout with my fly rod.  The greatest thing was the passion didn’t dissipate after catching the trout.  It only fed the desire to find all the fish and find a way to trick them all with a fly rod.  

Eventually, my passion for fly fishing bled into a passionate appreciate for the fly fishing techniques, art, community, equipment, and destinations.  Tying a good borksi slider, or learning to double haul with a fly rod became new skills and new escapes.  Watching friends, mentors, or fly fishing guides make a perfect presentation to a redfish, or learning to read great trout rivers with your fishing buddies.  All these things became the nuances that bring me right back that spot where the world melts away and you have a singular clear purpose.  I’ve fallen in love with becoming a better fly caster, and a fly tier, and there is so much more out there to learn and know about fly fishing that this adventure is really only beginning.  

Before I stop talking about why I am passionate about fly fishing, do I even need to mention the old adage… “The Tug is the Drug”?

So, this passion of mine has driven me to share it.  It should be obvious that I am out to try to learn and experience everything I can find in the Fly Fishing world.  In my experiencing and learning, I hope to spread and share the sport, the art, and the community through this podcast and journal.  I hope you will stick around and join me.  



®Fish On the Brain